Friday, June 22, 2018

Comic Review of Doctor M - Kalapani Comics

Another wonderful episode (New Series) by Vimanika. This is their first superhero series that I am reading. Though Doctor M has not revealed this powers yet. But series seems promising.


The story started with two plots. One with a group of terrorists wanted to spread chaos entered a school and left a device which was throwing some kind of bubbles on kids. Another plot is about Doctor M who found out his neighbor's kid infected with a strange kind of disease. All the doctors in India have said no to the case. Doctor M started diagnosis of his cells.

Comparing with the previous series by Vimanika, Doctor M is the shorted. I personally felt the first episode in any series should be long enough to bring readers back. Otherwise, everything is awesome about series and episode. 

Talking about ratings

  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Content - 2.5/5
  3. Concept - 3.5/5
  4. Artwork - 4.5/5
  5. Overall - 3/5

Book can be found at Amazon
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Thursday, June 21, 2018

4 Reasons why you should pick - "Are you living the biggest scam called money?"

Sachin Mittal's expression on the cover page and the title ‘Are You Living the Biggest Scam Called Money? Demonetization and After’ lends a tone of the seriousness of the matter under discussion in the book. And it’s only befitting because we are talking about money!


Book Blurb
In the current day and age, currency is considered as money that forms the basis of all our transactions. But what happens when we realize that these pieces of paper are nothing but deception? What if, one day, out of nowhere, we are told that these currency notes are as good as paper? 
As scary as it sounds, this scenario is not very far from the truth. On 8th November 2016, the citizens of India were faced with a similar predicament. It was the day when the government of India declared 86% of the currency worthless unless exchanged for new currency notes. 
An expert on financial matters, Sachin Mittal takes us through the seemingly complex matters on a variety of topics that explain one of the most basic questions of our existence: What is Money? Through a deft use of examples, Mittal draws a timeline of the various forms of money used for transactions since the existence of civilization till date. Finally, he delves on the origin of money as we know it, the paper currency. 
The author does not wish to pass a judgement on the factors that led to demonetization, rather raises serious concerns regarding the validity of paper currency as a widely accepted form of money. Moreover, through nuanced argument and examples, he demystifies the concept of money and reinstates the faith in gold as a more reliable form of money.
The first one-third of the book contains a discussion about demonetization. It covers what happened during and after demonetization and how it troubled the common people. 

The next section covers the history of the Indian currency—starting with the Barter System to use of gold coins to IOU notes to gold-backed notes to fiat currency. The author has covered them very comprehensively and concisely. The final section covers how our government and the central bank handles money, and in the process, inflate our money.


If you are a BJP or Modi-supporter, you may leave this book or criticize it after reading the first section. However, my suggestion is: Be patient and continue reading the next section. If you are not the patient type, then you may skip this book. Though I support demonetization personally, I haven't put this book aside, I continued with it and finished it. Because I knew the book had the capability to deliver good content and sound arguments in the coming chapters.


4 simple reasons why you should pick this book up!
  1. Layman's terminology—If you cannot understand the complex terms used by RBI or the government, don't worry. The author has used none! I think even an 8th grader can understand the complex financial issues due to the way the author has described how the flow of money works. 
  2. Light in content & deep in context—the book is just 125-140 pages long with explanatory artwork and good text spacing. You can virtually finish it in 2-3 hours in one sitting! But the context is deep enough to make you aware of the banking system.
  3. Explanatory Artwork & Easy Examples—As I mentioned, complex things are explained with the help of explanatory cartoons and the simplest of examples.
  4. Useful Guide for Money-related Decisions: Lends basic information and awareness about money and currency so the reader can take proper decisions regarding their personal money matters!
The only improvement that I suggest to the author would be the pricing. I know the glossy colour page costs a lot, but an MRP of Rs. 899 will be difficult to drive good sales! Especially when you are trying to set footing in the market. Otherwise, it’s a great learning experiment!

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Content - 4/5
  3. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Book Review - Trust Me Not

"Woh Woh Woh" This is what I felt when I finished "Trust Me Not". One of the best climax set story I read in thriller genre yet. Well, you cannot say it is a political thriller only as it is a perfect mix of drama, romance, suspense and what not. I would say it is a complete movie material.


Book Blurb
Rising corporate star Reeva Rai is offered a prestigious position in a top-notch PR agency. It is the opportunity of a lifetime. But working with Enigmatic Billionaire Kunaal Kabi was not going to be easy. Even as she develops feelings for him, she is determined to prove herself.
But when an activist friend turns to her for help with a real-estate scam, Reeva has to make a high-stakes choice. Can she retain the credibility of her prominent clients while helping hundreds save their homes? As she digs deeper to find solutions, a nefarious scheme unravels with unexpected connections. A no-holds-barred race ensues, blood is drawn and Reeva is trapped in the eye of a political thunderstorm. If she succeeds, powerful people will have much to answer 
When I selected this book it had 50+ reviews, today I can see more than 100 reviews and a majority of them were 3+. Reviews doubled in just 4 weeks which shows its popularity in readers.

Talking about the story, our main protagonist is Reeva. She got chance to work with one the famous & rich personality, Kunaal. She wanted to prove herself in the field, but at the same time, she was falling for Kunaal. Things were going like a romantic story when Reeva friend asked her to help to reveal an ongoing scam, which was relevant to thousands of lives. Reeva saw that more she unravel thing scarier they were becoming. The very thing she loved so much can become the source of fear.

Though the book comes under a political thriller, it doesn't start with a murder or political party de-thrown. Rather, the story started very casually, It too few chapters to realize that I was deeply engrossed in an entertainment mix.

400 pages long book and not a single deep in tone, not a single boring chapter. The author did this magic with help of perfect character mix. I even thought of assigning actors from Bollywood, to six main characters that dictated the plot. The book can be converted into a nice movie. I hope praise by Madhur Bhandarkar can be taken seriously by Bollywood for movie adoption.

I would like to thank Writers' Melon and Vishnu for introducing this book to me. I really like it. I am going to recommend this book to my friends for sure.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Characters - 5/5
  3. Concept - 4/5
  4. Overall - 4.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Book Review - Prithvivallabh - a Historical Fiction by KM Munshi

In our syllabus, we had a chapter "Why had Prithivivallabh hesitated?" The chapter was based on the historical fiction of KM Munshi, originally written in the Gujarati language. The book is now considered as classic. I Wanted to read this book ever since I had studied that chapter. Though I have read this book almost 2 years back, I have decided to re-read to share my views & review.



Book Blurb
Prithivivallabh is based on history of Malwa region of India. The novel depicts the rivalry between Munj, the ruler of Dharanagari and Tailap as well as the romance between Munj and Mrinal. Munj had defeated Tailap several times but Tailap captures Munj with help of his feudatory Yadava king Bhillamraj. In captivity, Munj falls in love with Mrinal, Tailap's widow sister. Celibate Mrinal too falls in love with too. The love story of Bhoj, a poet; and Vilas, daughter of Bhillamraj engaged with Satyashraya, son of Tailap; runs in parallel.
Munj is the protagonist of the story. He was called as "Prithivivallabh" by people. He was a fearsome king with high values. Tailap was his arch enemy. He attacked Munj multiple times and got defeated. Everythime Tailap was allowed to go back by Munj. In his last battle, Tailap was able to defeat Munj and he decided to humiliate Munj for his previous defeats.

Munj was taken as war prisoner to Tailap kingdom's capital. He was asked to beg to the citizen of capitals. Tailap was surprised to find out that his citizen started linking Munj. On top of that, the biggest support of Tailap his own sister (Mrinal Devi) who had ruled kingdom (indirectly) was slowly & steadily falling for Munj. Tailap then sentenced Munj under elephants leg. Whole capital was invited to see the death of the nation's enemy, but Tailap found tears in his citizen's eyes.

The book considered as a classic in Gujarati literature & it is translated into many languages so I have very little to add about book's content quality. Every Gujarati reader must read this book at least once. For me, the book comes at the same level as Patan-series by Munshi.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Content - 4/5
  3. Character - 5/5 (For Munj)
  4. Overall - 4.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Book Review “Tales of Man Singh, King of Indian Dacoits” by Kenneth Anderson

A lost in thoughts turban wearing dacoit riding through Chambal valley carrying a gun in its cover and a colophon boasting the of Man Singh’s exploits promising to be the complete account of his legends, I decided to take a break from fiction and explore Man Singh through the words of Kenneth Anderson.


Book Blurb
A single man who was pursued by 1,700 policemen of four states for fifteen years! A man who ruled the Chambal ravines and roamed 8,000 square miles, leading the police on a wild goose chase every time they plotted to nab him! Loved by the underprivileged and feared by the rich, he was eventually shot dead when cornered by a company of Gurkhas. Read the thrilling tales of his adventures and the legends of a man who was called ‘Raja’ because of his generosity and large-heartedness.
Overall Verdict:- A could-have-been better one time read

'Tales of Man Singh' is a collection of stories of Dacoit Man Singh which describe some of his exploits, his background and ultimately how he died.

To start, the well written foreword sets a good mood for reading and increases the expectations for what’s to come. The stories themselves are disconnected and there is no specific timeline as to when they are happening. You are able to read from one page to other but it lacks the elements that makes you immerse in the experience.

The book is written in first person perspective. Personally I felt the character of Man Singh could had been better portrayed. The choice of tales are taken from a period once he had been established as the king of dacoits, with the exception of last chapter which deals with how he became a dacoit and how he died. Mostly, he’s shown more a leader/judge than that of a dacoit, who swoops in to give judgement and move aside for someone to execute it. Even though the books title is Man Singh, we find that most of the tales consist of support characters, their background story, wherein Mansingh appears to be their conclusion.  

Personally, I felt that the last chapter could had been introduced earlier. It would had perhaps given a better justification of the fear and respect of Raja Mansingh which the author makes tremendous use of. In comparison of the rest of the book, the last two tales are written well.

My overall rating would be 3/5.

Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Historical Fiction - Prithviraj Chauhan by Anuja Chandramouli

None of my books made me feel as guilty as Prithviraj Chauhan by Anuja Chandramouli. Anuja had sent me the review copy before the book was released but it was wrongly couriered to other address. It took me almost a month to receive that book. With tha1t mess up started unavoidable sequences called a book on the shelf. So Anuja I am really sorry for not able to finish the book on time.


Book Blurb
Prithviraj Chauhan was destiny's chosen one, singled out for glory and greatness. During the course of an extraordinary life, he transcended the limits imposed on mortals and achieved Godlike luster. The conquering hero dreamed of a united land where peace prevailed over war and love over hate.
Princess Samyukta loved him from afar, and when Prithviraj Chauhan claimed her for his own, defying the wrath of an implacable foe, their happiness was complete. Victorious in love and war, Prithviraj Chauhan was soon to discover that success came with a terrible price - trouble, treachery and tragedy. What happened next? Read the tale of the legendary warrior who lives on in the hearts of those who remember his unmatched valor and timeless heroism.

Before I start I would like to add a fact, I have read "Gujarat no Nath" and "Rajadhiraj" by K M Munshi. So when the story started with Kanchanadevi & Kumarpal I was able to relate plot. Don't worry if you haven't read those books, you can still read this book with ease.

So the story started with Pregnancy of Karpuradevi. She was adjusting a Chauhan-Chalukya customs. Married to a less capable Someshwar, she understood that her mother-in-law's expectations were high from her son. But Karpuradevi didn't want to restrain herself to just royal wife, she started developing skills under Kanchanadevi's tutelage. She knew that her mother-in-law would take care of upbringing and training of his sons and she would be neglected by her husband. From the birth, Prithviraj was able to attract the attention of Royals and commoner alike. His fame increased as he started growing up. Being a kind hearted, a skilled warrior and a good looking he was the center of attraction wherever he went. His own father was envying his son's fame.

I think I have given enough plot details, you can check the book for more details.

Talking about writing style, as usual, Anuja's storytelling gives you poetic feeling. Scenes would start with a person then it goes back or forth in some detailing. You need to keep patience to explore what will come next. She carefully developed each and every character based on historical facts It has taken some time for me to attach to the story.

The book seems heavy at places, and flow also bit boring, which have delayed my reading pace, Otherwise a nice read

Ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Characters - 3.5/5
  3. Content - 3.5/5
  4. Overall - 3.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Unusual Story of a Usual Corporate Couple - How I Became a Farmer's Wife

I have checked Yashodhara's tweet about "How I became farmer's wife" book's cover and I instantly liked it. I haven't read any book by her but the title and the cover were too attractive when mail reached to my inbox. I instantly said yes. I started reading the book the moment I have received courier.

Book Blurb
Mild-mannered Vijay is the perfect good Indian husband - responsible and predictable. Well, at least he was, until he decided to turn Farmer! Vijay's unsuspecting wife Yashodhara is caught off guard when, tired of the rigours of city life, he actually rents land and starts dairy farming! As if Yash didn't have enough going on already, what with her high-octane job, three children and multiple careers. As Vijay dives deeper into his quirky hobby, the family is plucked out of their comfortable life in the steel-and-chrome high-rises of Gurgaon, and thrown headfirst into a startlingly unfamiliar world - complete with cows and crops, multiple dogs and eccentric farmhands, a shrewd landlady and the occasional rogue snake. Will these earnest but insulated city-dwellers be able to battle the various difficulties that come with living a farmer's life? A laugh-out-loud romp that'll leave you wanting more!
I am not sure whether it is a real story or fiction work, but characters, author, and her husband name are used in the story. Yashodhara our protagonist is having a successful corporate career with a leading tablet seller in India. Her husband was also in a successful career. But he wanted to try his hands in farming. He had a dream of having farm fresh veggies in their kitchen. At same time Yashodhara has started working on her next novel, a romance genre, but she was not confident about the book. On the top of that, her life is completely chaotic due to her three kids. When Vijay took the decision seriously Yashodhara was not sure how he would manage a full-time job with the farm, but she supported his dream. And then started funfilled trips to farm with/without their kids, Vijay's daily updates on farm, activities, struggle he faced while handling these activities.

The book is written in very steady and simple tone. You will enjoy humor/sarcasm used at places. Yashodhara (author) has a unique style in narrating incidents, which I loved (I am thinking of checking other books by her)

Talking about characters, her three kids peanut, papad, and pickles are adorable (though mischievous at times) Yashodhara's character is portrayed as today's hyperactive woman, who is handling one full-time job, one part-time job, one full-time passion and what not. Vijay is the guy I loved the most. A real struggle in the new field without hesitation. Those who would like to get inspiration we have Yashodhara and Vijay from this book.

Some advice to readers
  • Don't read it in public, you may laugh while reading. (Just to save some awkward moments)
  • This is not a manual/self-help book on agriculture
  • You may end up reading this book in 2-3 sittings keep tea or coffee handy
I have already recommended this book to many friends. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Characters - 4.5/5
  3. Concept - 5/5
  4. Overall - 4.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

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